Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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While dogs use their sharp sense of smell and above average vision to explore the world around them, using the mouth to touch or chew things is a favorite way to learn about the world around them.
If you want to solve the destructive issue of your dog chewing on your shoes, you must track this negative habit back to its origin. You cannot prevent your dog from exploring the house and chewing on things to alleviate pain, but you can train him not to chew on important possessions, such as shoes.
These negative behaviors can be observed when your dog is so anxious and upset that he cannot help himself from doing something that is considered bad, primarily because he cannot calm his nerves. Many of your dog’s behaviors and decisions are based on sensory reactions to the world around him.
In addition, clothing and other possessions will have a weaker scent than your shoes, easily detected by your dog’s keen sense of smell. Your dog’s sharp sense of smell can detect even the slightest odor, encouraging him to chew on your shoes. While you are nearby, your dog may chew on your shoes to catch your attention, hoping to get a rise out of you. Now that you know several reasons why dogs opt to chew on shoes rather than other, more flavorful options, you will be more equipped to take to proper precautions to deal with the problem of chewing on shoes.
You can easily train him not to chew on shoes as a puppy by offering him appropriate toys, treats and other chewing options.
Irrational or improper reactions displayed by owners when dogs chew on their shoes can also lead to more negative behaviors, as the dog has now learned that the chewing activity gets him more attentions.
Prevent this from happening by giving your dog plenty of physical exercise to chase away the boredom and promote exhaustion so he will rest when you are away.
Understanding the reasons why chewing your shoes is so tempting to your dog can help prevent him from repeating this negative behavior again.
Make sure there are no medical causes of the chewing behavior.[1][2] In some cases, dogs chew as a coping behavior when they suffer from psychological problems (like anxiety). If your dog releases the object, give it something appropriate to chew (like a treat or toy) and praise it.
Use deterrent sprays.[7] Dogs are much less likely to chew on things with tastes that they find unpleasant. This technique works best if your dog has a habit of chewing a particular object, or something immobile. Encourage good chewing by providing your dog with toys and treats.[9] If you provide your dog with acceptable things to chew on, it will have fewer incentives to chew inappropriate objects. Make sure to spend time with your dog.[12] Domestic dogs are social creatures that have evolved to be accustomed to contact with humans as well as with other dogs. Dog classes are available in many areas.[15] These are an opportunity for pets and owners to practice together to help a dog learn new tricks or behavior. Objects such as remote controls, shoes, and books are common temptations for dogs that like to chew.
Teach your dog the "leave it" command.[21] If you're willing to put in a little extra time and effort, it's possible to teach your dog a handy command that can save your possessions in cases where you catch it chewing on them. Repeat this process until your dog moves away from your hand as soon as you say "leave it." This teaches your dog that ignoring whatever it wants to bite or chew on is better than chewing on that thing.


Chewing shoes not only damages your wonderful wardrobe, but could also hurt your dog’s mouth or teeth, or he could die from choking. Owners can then choose the appropriate training methods to make dogs stop chewing on their footwear. Just like infant children, when puppies are teething, they will try to make the pain in their sore gums feel better by chewing. If you forbid the puppy to chew on your shoes and offer him a more appropriate chew object, such as chew toys or rawhide treats, you will eventually train your puppy not to be destructive. Separation anxiety simply means that your dog harbors a fear of being left or abandoned at home, alone. This is when your dog might do something destructive, such as chew up your shoes, in an effort to release his anxiety and frustration on other things, especially shoes – which are often left near your door. Dogs who are left at home, alone, will often look for something to do while they wait for owners to come home. However, when you are a bored dog, you would likely decide to chew on something for entertainment and to pass the time. While shoes commonly have an unpleasant scent, owners should also realize that leather shoes often smell like food to dogs. Sometimes, dogs look for ways to gain your undivided attention, including negative attention such as chewing on your shoes. Once dog owners realize that strong reactions are not conducive to proper training, and can actually reinforce the pet’s bad habits, they can train their canines not to chew on shoes, when they are at home or away. Now, you should read on to discover some of the best tips to stop this destructive habit before the problem gets out of hand.
If your dog is just a puppy, now is the time to develop good habits such as chewing only on appropriate items. Your dog might become excited or afraid when you unleash your anger on him, and this behavior can often make things much worse. It is important to remain calm during training by simply taking the shoes away without speaking or making eye contact, and walking away. After taking the shoes away from your destructive canine, offer him some safe and appropriate chew toys.
If you find your shoes have been chewed on or destroyed while you were away, it is too late to punish or scold him. The amount of exercise given should be based on your dog’s age, breed, and health condition. Consult a dog professional for help if your pet exhibits bad housebreaking and separation anxiety behaviors. Your enthusiasm as an owner can wear thin, however, as soon as your dog starts ruining your possessions with frequent chewing. Likewise, if your dog is affected by certain parasites or nutritional deficiencies, it may be compelled to chew all sorts of things.
Thus, you can discourage your dog from chewing on certain things by rubbing or spraying them with bad-tasting substances. For instance, you can spray chair legs with a bitter apple flavor if your dog has a habit of chewing on them.


If they become bored or are kept from contact with other dogs, some dogs can resort to destructive coping behavior, including chewing. Dogs don't just want toys; they want fun, happy interactions with the people in their family!
Place any objects your dog likes to chew (or might chew) out of its reach: in a cabinet, high off the floor, in a bag or box, etc. If this is the case, you may consider keeping it confined in a pen, dog crate, or other area while you are gone. Get the dog's attention with one treat, then sharply tell your dog, "leave it" (referring to the object it is chewing). In the information that follows, you will learn how to save your shoes from a chew-happy canine. In the information below, you will find some of the more common reasons why dogs like chewing on shoes.
If your dog barks excessively, displays negative housebreaking behaviors, or chews your shoes while you are not home, this could mean that your dog hates being left alone. If your dog can find another way to chase the boredom away, you have successfully saved your shoes from destruction. This is because dogs can usually gain easier access to your shoes than to your other things, as these are often lying around on the floor.
Perhaps your dog chews on your shoes in an effort to be close to you while you are away or distracted. If you yell at your dog when he is caught chewing on your shoes, or if you laugh at his destructive behavior, your dog might learn that chewing is a game that works to get your attention. Because chewing is one of your dog’s most basic instincts, it is going to be near impossible to make him stop. This is because your dog cannot associate the punishment to an action that occurred several hours ago.
Making sure your dog gets enough physical and mental activity can not only solve the problem of chewed up shoes, but it can also help by spending your dog’s excessive energy and building better overall health.
Luckily, with consistent training and smart decisions on the part of the owners, nearly any dog can be trained not to chew its owners out of house and home.
Because of this, consider taking your dog to a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for an expert diagnosis and a suitable treatment plan, especially if the chewing is accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, or abnormal behavior. Be sure to take the time to play with your dog a little bit every day, especially if it's been chewing. You can also use baby gates to keep a dog out of rooms or areas that contain items it is tempted to chew.[20] In addition, you can supervise your dog while you are at home. There are many dog toys for sale in pet stores and online, some of which are even shaped like shoes!
Just twenty minutes or so of play per day can go a long way towards expending a dog's excess energy and calming it down.



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